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Oral history interview with Robert Eppley and William Norman

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1989.346.14 | RG Number: RG-50.031.0014

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    Oral history interview with Robert Eppley and William Norman


    Interview Summary
    Robert Eppley, born on January 26, 1921 in Youngstown, Ohio, describe being inducted into the US Army in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 21, 1942, with the rank of private; serving in the 95th Infantry while he was in the US; serving in the 89th Infantry Division when he was overseas during World War II; landing in Southampton, England in early January 1945; being assigned to Patton's Third Army, following the Battle of the Bulge; coming under fire on the Rhineland campaign in March and later the Central European Campaign in April; how his division was ordered by their commanding general to visit the Ohrdruf concentration camp on the same day the camp was liberated by American forces; remaining at the camp for only two hours; the conditions of the camp survivors and victims; the mayor of Ohrdruf denying knowledge of the camp; how what he saw there made a permanent impression on his life; how there was not much discussion about the camps with his fellow GIs; his division accepting the surrender of thousands of German prisoners; seeing displaced people along the road; his division running the "cigarette camps," which funneled all unneeded US troops back to the US in order the ship them to Japan to finish the war; returning to the US in October 1945; having difficulty getting a job after he was discharged; getting a job with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company as a common laborer; becoming the city manager of his hometown; his wife, whom he married five months after entering the army; discussing some of his experiences with his children; and the importance of memorialize the Holocaust.
    William Norman
    Robert Eppley
    interview:  1984 March 12
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

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    Administrative Notes

    The Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois (now Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center) conducted the interview with Robert Eppley and William Norman on March 12, 1984. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch received the tape of the interview from the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois on December 12, 1989.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:07:03
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